When I Get Fat, My Dad’s Gonna Throw a Party

By Kevin Leonard

From their fathers,

some people inherit mustaches,

beer bellies, rounded shoulders,

a pigeon-toed right foot,

some money, or a half-blind right eye,

or maybe a gruff voice

that makes everything you say

sound like a grunting boxer.

Although this might be a poor man’s

biological sketch of you,

(although, for your sake, I left out the fact

that you have a vasectomy)

my body is mostly George-free.

Instead, the only one of your genetic

guerrillas able to sneak past Mom’s nuclear tanks

is a sensitivity to find almost anything amusing,

along with a slight crease on my cheeks:

while Mom handed down eyes, teeth,

mild athletic ability and a conscience,

you gave me a smirk.

It’s funny how nature works sometimes –

one might think I’m the product

of a skinny, ambitious mailman

or butler if it weren’t for the goofy smile

marking me a real Leonard.

Because the thing is,

I don’t plan on being fat and hairy,

or getting divorced,

or having that weird

half-afro mullet that you’ve been

rockin’ my whole life.

Most of the day annoyance

sits uneasily on my face

like cranky buoys on a choppy bay.

But as I stand in the bathroom

brushing my teeth and something

stupid catches me funny, my face unzips itself

and I see you.

Kevin Leonard is a poet living in Rockaway Beach, NY. He has a writing degree from SUNY Oswego, plays men’s league hockey, and has three brothers.